“I’m not even the best athlete in my relationship” - Ben Shelton on girlfriend Anna Hall, the World Athletics Championships and NCAA track and field medallist

Ben Shelton and his girlfriend Anna Hall.
Ben Shelton and his girlfriend Anna Hall.

Ben Shelton took a wildcard entry into the 2022 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, hoping to get some experience at the ATP tour level under his belt. However, the American has surprised everyone by putting up strong performances to reach the third round.

Beating the likes of Lorenzo Sonego and Casper Ruud this week has turned the spotlight onto Shelton, who has barely looked out of place at this level.

In an interview with Prakash Amritraj on Tennis Channel post his second-round win, the 19-year-old spoke about his girlfriend Anna Hall, who, like Shelton, is a star athlete making her mark in the world.

“Yeah [she’s an exceptional athlete and better than me], she got a bronze medal at the World Championships this year and she definitely keeps me humble. I’m not even the best athlete in my relationship. So, [that’s] something to work on,” he said with a smile on his face.

Hall is a heptathlete who has quickly established herself as the rising star of track and field in America. The heptathlon is a track and field event that combines seven different events: 100 meters hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, javelin throw and 800 meters.

Shelton further added that the two budding stars constantly keep pushing each other in their quest for excellence in their respective fields.

“Yeah [we can push each other], it's definitely really cool. We're kind of going through the same process. Right now I’m turning pro versus going back to college and she actually made her decision last week to turn pro. So she got there before me,” he said.

She won the heptathlon event at the 2022 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships to qualify for the 2022 World Athletics Championships, where she won a bronze medal. Prior to that, the 21-year-old won the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“It's cool that I have a former pro who's my dad to look up to” - Ben Shelton proud to follow his father’s tennis footsteps

Ben Shelton in action at the 2022 Atlanta Open.
Ben Shelton in action at the 2022 Atlanta Open.

Ben Shelton is not the first professional player in his family. His father Bryan Shelton made a name for himself on the ATP tour, reaching a career-high of World No. 55 in his playing career.

While his father also doubles up as his coach, Bryan also serves as the Florida men's tennis head coach. With his win over World No. 5 Ruud, the younger Shelton has accomplished something his father did not: reaching the third round in Cincinnati.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, the 19-year-old said that he’s a little proud of surpassing his father’s record in Cincinnati.

“Yeah [I take pride in going further than my dad], a little bit,” he said with a smile. “I know that he has two top-5 wins and I only have one. He's got me in that category.
“But, yeah, it's fun to talk about. It's cool that I have a former pro who's my dad to look up to when I'm going through these things,” he added.